Career

No Small Thing

He loves me.   He loves me not.   He loves me.   He loves me not.   Small moments of being young flashed before my mind. I remembered my friends picking apart flowers in the hot Florida sun to determine the affection of their crush of the week. I was never a ‘boy crazy’ […]

When Life as You Know It Is Dying

I seem to be living the tail end of a dying life. According to the statistics, I am not the only one. I am not the only teacher who woke up one day and realized she could not possibly continue at the speed of the classroom with the course set to testing. It was killing […]

Reflections on the Festival of Faith & Writing

The Festival of Faith and Writing in April was extra special for us. Most of us were meeting each other for the first time, after a year of building The Mudroom. In that time some of us had experienced deep depression, overwhelming disappointment, loss of loved ones, career setbacks, parenting and marriage stressors. We walked through it […]

The Curious Blessing of Rejection

Ten years ago, in 2006, I was rejected by a publisher.  It went like this: after four years of student ministry and thinking about a post-modern culture, I had an idea for a book that explored characteristics of student ministry in the context of postmodernism – a sort of analytical, practical, theological-yet-readable sort of book. […]

Lifting the Veil

Our collective imagination is haunted by a certain image of the artist: a solitary bard, brooding alone, awaiting a burst of inspiration from a mysterious and magical muse. We see the person with the creative spirit as one who stands above and apart from the common lot, a secular priest who mediates between regular folks […]

Can We Survive on Inspiration?

I was more surprised than anyone when I signed up to run a half marathon two years ago. I’d never been much of a runner and had not participated in an organized race before; starting with 13.1 miles was, I admit, a little bold. I had some friends running with me and was looking for […]

The Everyday Words

I’m not sure why it came as such a surprise to me. A few months into a period of not-writing-much-at-all, I discovered that I was suffering from what some might call writer’s block. I had gone from blogging a few times a week to a few times a month, if that. Pitches and proposals had […]

How I Found Creativity After Being the DIY Queen

Creativity is a privilege. I wouldn’t have made such a statement five, ten years ago. I probably would have said that creativity is something we’re born with, that not being able to pass by your local Hobby Lobby without going inside may be a good indication that the Creativity Fairy has taken up residence in […]

Waiting for Twilight

The summer before I got married Dave went away to teach at a program for brilliant young writers and I stayed in Pittsburgh, trying to finish my master’s thesis, which I hadn’t started. One night, there was a terrible thunderstorm, and my friend Rachael came over to keep me company. We drank mint juleps and […]

Writing for Ducks

Today, we watched Frozen twice. Once because they were tired and once because I was tired. Usually we do puzzles and read and bake and play in the little pink kitchen that’s always askew in the corner. But today we snuggled, we danced, we sang. We also ate Kit-Kats and had chocolate smeared on our […]

The Mudroom at The Festival of Faith and Writing

More than half of us are going to Calvin this year for their legendary writing conference, The Festival of Faith and Writing. Tammy Perlmutter, Ashley Hales, Heather Caliri, Grace Sandra, Cara Meredith, Caris Adel, Nicole Walters, and Jessica Mesman Griffith will be there. Most of us will be meeting each other in person for the first […]

God Isn’t Asking You to Bleed Out

Let me just let you know up front: God isn’t asking you to bleed out. I do not believe that God is asking you to just sit there and take it, whatever it is. God is not asking you to bleed out slowly as you turn pale and feel the life slowly leaking out of […]